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XM Satellite radio and car being traded?
Old 01-08-2013, 11:10 PM   #1
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XM Satellite radio and car being traded?

We are trading a vehicle equiped w/XM radio. It still has time left on the subscription. The replacement vehicle does not have XM radio. In calling XM their solution (vs. a refund) is to send us (with us paying postage only) a no charge radio that can be mounted and plugged into the power port/lighter in the vehicle without built in XM radio. It then is hooked to the aux in jack on the car radio and is supposed to simply pick up the remainder of the plan from the traded in car. What about an antenna? Don't these things need and antenna? How would an antenna be mounted in the post production/do it yourself mode I may find myself in? Thanks...never sold a car before with a live XM radio and simply would have taken credit back, but this no charge radio (Onyx) is what they want I guess for future renewals? Thanks for any suggestions other than wait and read the directions!
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:50 AM   #2
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No worries. You don't need an antenna mounted on the car because the portable one they will give you has its own internal antenna.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:44 AM   #3
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No worries. You don't need an antenna mounted on the car because the portable one they will give you has its own internal antenna.
That hasn't been my experience. The internal part is the repeater, if you are transmitting to your radio instead of using AUX wired.

My radios, including the fairly recent XMP3i, need an antenna. That said, my antenna works really well by just putting it on the dashboard. I route the wire under the dash, around to the side, and just have it sitting inside on the dash near the bottom of the window. Works about 90% as well as if I had it outside. Good enough.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:53 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input. on the Dash sounds nice. Looking forward to getting what they have shipped me...model is Onyx Looking it up seems as if it does have an antenna and several mounting options...hope it does ok to be a useful alternate as compared to a built in one on the car we are trading. Thanks again...any input on this model is also appreciated!
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:33 AM   #5
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Sorry, my mistake. I missed the Onyx model you mentioned.

They do make portable versions with internal antennas, but that model isn't one of them.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:44 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input. on the Dash sounds nice. Looking forward to getting what they have shipped me...model is Onyx Looking it up seems as if it does have an antenna and several mounting options...hope it does ok to be a useful alternate as compared to a built in one on the car we are trading. Thanks again...any input on this model is also appreciated!
Just try the antenna inside first before you do anything. You might be surprised how well it works. Hopefully, it is the small antenna. It is just a little bigger (and much thicker, of course) than a postage stamp.

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Sorry, my mistake. I missed the Onyx model you mentioned.

They do make portable versions with internal antennas, but that model isn't one of them.
Right. My XMP3i does have an internal antenna, so my bad too! However, it only works OK if I stick it on my belt or hold it in my hand outside, while walking around the lake. I tried it in the car and it was pretty much no-go. Had to hook it up to the antenna as described above.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:34 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input. on the Dash sounds nice. Looking forward to getting what they have shipped me...model is Onyx Looking it up seems as if it does have an antenna and several mounting options...hope it does ok to be a useful alternate as compared to a built in one on the car we are trading. Thanks again...any input on this model is also appreciated!
Please follow up to let us know how the Onyx works out. I was actually considering purchase of one from Best Buy ($50, IIRC) as a Christmas gift.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:47 PM   #8
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Will do...it is underway from XM via UPS and is to arrive next week.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:58 AM   #9
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Please follow up to let us know how the Onyx works out. I was actually considering purchase of one from Best Buy ($50, IIRC) as a Christmas gift.
As with all things these days that have contracts... Consider calling XM directly and asking for a heavily discounted Onyx if you pay for a year ahead (or some such deal).

They are always trying to throw more radios at current subscribers for very little cost in order to get another subscription.

And the subscription rates are negotiable too.
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:58 PM   #10
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As with all things these days that have contracts... Consider calling XM directly and asking for a heavily discounted Onyx if you pay for a year ahead (or some such deal).

They are always trying to throw more radios at current subscribers for very little cost in order to get another subscription.

And the subscription rates are negotiable too.
Thanks...great suggestion. I was quite shocked they would give OP a free radio instead of a refund. XM was such great service, I bought the stock but soon realized they were unable to make it profitable. Since the acquisition by Sirius, I am not nearly as happy with the product, but it is still great for someone spending as much time in the car as I do traveling through different areas.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:26 PM   #11
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Thanks...great suggestion. I was quite shocked they would give OP a free radio instead of a refund. XM was such great service, I bought the stock but soon realized they were unable to make it profitable. Since the acquisition by Sirius, I am not nearly as happy with the product, but it is still great for someone spending as much time in the car as I do traveling through different areas.
Similar story. Used to absolutely love XM. After the merger, there's limited playlists and poorer quality, yet I suffer through it, still craving it. It is one of my non-LBYM items I treat myself with.

I also bought the stock and lost some money. Didn't invest much, but it is the last individual stock I bought. I can't pick stocks worth anything.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:14 PM   #12
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I have an Express RCi model in my Roadtrek Motorhome but it operates just like the Onyx.

The Onyx does need and antenna. Mine is about one inch square with a magnetic bottom. It's best to mount it is on the roof in an unobstructed location but as others have said, there is a bit of leeway in where you decide to put it. Mine is mounted on the passenger side front fender beside the regular radio antenna. It's hardly noticeable. The only problem I've had with reception is when driving in a NW direction. The roof must be block the satellite signal when traveling that direction.

Installation of the radio is pretty straight forward. I used Velcro to fasten my unit to the dash. Either tie the power into and existing wire or fuse or simply plug it into the cigarette lighter. The signal can sync with your current radio either by plugging the Onyx into an accessory socket or you can sync it with empty FM channels. Mine syncs through FM channels because getting to the back of my radio is difficult.

All in all, the system works pretty well.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:08 PM   #13
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Radio arrived today. Pretty nice looking little unit. Seems fairly clear to install but don't know about antenna. Trying to run back to rear of Jeep Patriot roof seems a bit complicated. Might try it on dash first. How does one run the antenna wire out either to hood or roof or wherever?

Anyway...will keep you updated. I am going out of town for a about a week and a half and not sure I will get this tested before we depart.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:42 AM   #14
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Have been travelling and then weather was sub zero...finally got to radio install yesterday. Wow...a painless and hassle free experience. Good directions, easy to get up and running, activation over phone was super quick, and old contract transferred to new free radio. Now....looks as if we will need to temporaily locate it in a dashboard storage bin in our Jeep Patriot as the stick on mounting bracket needs 60 degrees F to stick...that will be a number of months in the future I'm sorry to say. We used up to now with magnetic antenna on dash board vs. out onto roof and no issues other than how to hold in place....nothing magnetic on the dash board! Oh well, will keep thinking and learning but quality of reception is perfect and other than mounting it, organizing cables, and figuring out how to dash mount the antenna seems as if all is good. Any input on dash mount of the antenna are welcomed! Might consider Velcro for the radio itself as compared to mounting bracket.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:18 AM   #15
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+1 on the external antenna. I also have the online application too. Plays on my phone and tablet which is nice... Around $3 extra with the car subscription.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:05 PM   #16
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Radio doing well. Antenna still on dash....getting about 85% reception...only issues going north or northeast. A bit of a hassle to plug in for power and aux in but ok. Nice to have XM even though not quite as simple and seemless as if built into dash radio with vehicle.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:57 AM   #17
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Radio doing well. Antenna still on dash....getting about 85% reception...only issues going north or northeast. A bit of a hassle to plug in for power and aux in but ok. Nice to have XM even though not quite as simple and seemless as if built into dash radio with vehicle.
Yeah, but at least you don't have to tear things up. And with the antenna inside, it avoids the hassle of getting that wire outside.

I get an occasional dead spot because of this, but it is nothing I can't live with.

For the dash, I just used a spot (postage stamp size) of double sided tape to keep the thing from moving.
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